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Summertime and the Living is Easy in Bahia Asuncion

Summertime and the Living is Easy in Bahia Asuncion

One of the great things about Bahia Asuncion and the central Pacific Coast area are the moderate temperatures in the summer. Unlike most of Baja, we enjoy comfortable air temperatures around 80 degrees, with light cooling breezes off the ocean.

Bahia Asuncion

The mornings are perfect for long walks, a bike ride or outdoor activities like gardening or beach combing. The ocean temperatures have warmed up for swimming, surfing and snorkeling, too… and the fishing is outstanding!

Bahia Asuncion

Summertime is when we get lots of families visiting with their kids, who love the area and are invited to participate in local fun by the village children. Last week our guest Max didn’t want to go home because he had such a great time with his new friend Jonas, who took him skateboarding and boogie boarding…AND he caught his first ocean fish! He was mighty proud.

Bahia Asuncion

 And oh yes…the fish are jumping!

Bahia Asuncion

The girls love the dipping pool while the guys clean the fish!

Bahia Asuncion

So if you are tired of the heat in your neighborhood…head on over to the cool Pacific side of Central Baja!

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula. We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotelsvacation rentals and activities, as well as guides, maps, complete event calendars and great stories about incredible travel destinations, from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas.  We also provide free personal travel consulting, planning and booking services in Los Cabos, Todos Santos and La Paz, with prices that match or are below best advertised price. For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

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Windows to the Sea: The Beautiful Arches of Bahia Asuncion

Windows to the Sea: The Beautiful Arches of Bahia Asuncion

What is it about arches that are so appealing? Why are we so drawn to them?

Beautiful Arches of Bahia Asuncion

Might it be a genetic memory of when we lived in caves and saw the world through an arched entrance? Do we feel safe inside the arch looking out? Everything is more beautiful framed by an arch. Churches, bridges, buildings, homes and even fast food restaurants boasting arches are more appealing.

Beautiful Arches of Bahia Asuncion

Natural arches are always favored tourist attractions, and iconic images of them reflect their popularity.

There is a set of arches on a beach in our village of Bahia Asuncion that frame a magnificent ocean panorama. I can’t help but be drawn to these archaic cavities, and look out through their dark curves at the waves rolling in.

Beautiful Arches of Bahia Asuncion

Beautiful Arches of Bahia Asuncion

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula. We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotelsvacation rentals and activities, as well as guides, maps, complete event calendars and great stories about incredible travel destinations, from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas.  We also provide free personal travel consulting, planning and booking services in Los Cabos, Todos Santos and La Paz, with prices that match or are below best advertised price. For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

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La Bufadora Inn in Bahia Asuncion is a Dream Come True

La Bufadora Inn in Bahia Asuncion is a Dream Come True 

The first time I laid eyes on Bahia Asuncion in 2008, I knew I was home. As I stood on the point admiring the blowhole, I was overwhelmed with the sheer beauty of the place.

la bufadora inn

I felt a deep sense of contentment realizing that I had finally found my place. While my heart raced and imagination soared, my rational brain was wrestling with the reality that there was nothing I could do to support myself and my daughter in this remote fishing village…in other words… give up this pipe dream.

I asked my companion about the small house perched on the rock and was told a crazy guy lived there all by himself and I thought…hmmm…my kind of crazy.

la bufadora inn

Little did I know I would marry that crazy guy and build La Bufadora Inn on this very spot!

I unwillingly returned to Guerrero Negro where I was an English professor at the university…secretly vowing that we WOULD live here someday.

Despite the arduous journey into Asuncion over the terrible washboard road, my daughter and I camped there as often as we could. We both loved the village and its people and finally found a small cabin in San Roque to live in on our holidays.

The owner’s son asked the fishermen what we were like and was told we were crazy…the very idea of a single mother living in a fish camp was unfathomable to them. But my future husband who grew up in that cabin thought…hmmm…my kind of crazy.

It didn’t take long for us to fulfill our destiny, marry and begin building a new and exciting life together in paradise. To supplement Juan’s income from the fishing cooperative we began a water taxi service to help visiting yachts get fuel and supplies, and I made jewelry to sell.

Juan’s house at the blowhole was rustic, with no running water or indoor plumbing. Our electricity came from an extension cord from the fishing cooperative, and there was only one phone in town at the village office….but oh what a spectacular view!

Poco a poco,” little by little we fixed the place up, planting trees and gardens, building patios and an indoor bathroom! The village evolved too with a new water line and electricity and phone lines for the whole town. We even had to find and put up our own power pole!

la bufadora inn

Only a handful off hearty adventurers ever made it out to Asuncion, but I knew this place had great potential. I believed that people would come if they knew how magnificent it was. When phone lines were finally installed and we became connected to the rest of the world, I began posting stories and pictures of our paradise on the internet, and slowly a few Baja veterans began to make the trip out here to see what all the fuss was about.

Word spread quickly about the beauty and friendliness of the village, but the poor road still made it inaccessible to most travelers. But this all changed when the government promised to pave the entire road from Highway 1 to Asuncion.

As the road improved every year, we began welcoming guests to our home, which later became La Bufadora Inn. My brother came out to see what had captured my heart and fell in love with the town, too. He immediately had the Beach House built, and it is now a popular vacation rental. We then acquired several lots next to it to create Campo Sirena, a campground with all the necessary services.

la bufadora inn

la bufadora inn

With the family behind us, we were able to start a sportfishing service with one panga, which we called Sirena after my daughter. More tourists began to arrive, mostly for the spectacular yellowtail and calico bass fishing.

Juan tried his hand at building rock walls around the patio and it became his passion. He hand chose each rock and slowly built two magnificent guest rooms entirely of rock, and is adding another triple room this season.

la bufadora inn

 

la bufadora inn

 

la bufadora inn

When we started the website www.bahiaasuncion.com to promote the great fishing, pristine beaches, snorkeling with sea lions and the safe, friendly village, interest grew quickly and there was an increase in tourism. We built one room a year to accommodate the growth, and also bought a second panga.

la bufadora inn

la bufadora inn

We have come a long way in 10 years and changed our name to La Bufadora Inn to appeal to a wider range of guests. We now have five unique rooms with private patios, and we’ve built the vacation rentals Sunset Casita and Casa Pargo.

With more visitors and a few expats buying homes and lots, the village has also grown. It now sports some new restaurants, stores and hotels, and a new Pemex station should be open soon. Bahia Asuncion is a rare gem and one of the few places on the Baja peninsula that still has that “old Baja” feeling. Our little village once known as an undiscovered paradise is coming into its own as an eco-tourism destination. Viva Asuncion!

la bufadora inn

la bufadora inn

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula. We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotelsvacation rentals and activities, as well as guides, maps, complete event calendars and great stories about incredible travel destinations, from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas.  We also provide free personal travel consulting, planning and booking services in Los Cabos, Todos Santos and La Paz, with prices that match or are below best advertised price. For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

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Baja Bulletin: Christmas Comes Early to Police in Bahia Asuncion

Police in Bahia Asuncion

Living in a rural village in central Baja is like stepping back in time when life was simpler and everyone knew and cared for each other. This is one of the many things I love about our village. We all help each other out and the expats that live here try very hard to assist the villagers whenever they are able.

One of the challenges in small towns is keeping public works programs operating on a very low budget, as very often workers are grossly underpaid, or not paid at all. Such it is with our local policia. Our police chief and most of the officers are from here so they know everybody. My husband fixes their radios, and one day in March the Comandante was visiting us while a lawyer friend of mine and her partner – who is a judge from my home town – were also visiting.

Police in Bahia Asuncion

The friendly talk led to a discussion of how the force operates here and how underbudgeted they are. He sadly showed her how threadbare his uniform was and asked if there was some way to get a uniform sent down from Canada, as they are prohibitively expensive or unavailable here.

So my friend Geri Sanson contacted the police chief in Chatham and asked about the possibility of getting some uniforms donated. The Chatham Police department took the task to heart and came up with not one but 20 uniforms that consisted of both blue and white shirts, pants, beautiful jackets and vests.

Police in Bahia Asuncion

The next challenge was how to get them across two borders and into the hands of our officers. This is the time of year is when many Canadian snowbirds head south, so a wonderful couple named Tim and Barb from Vernon, British Columbia agreed to pack the two big boxes down with them and deliver them personally to Bahia Asuncion.

Needless to say, the Chief and other officers were thrilled with the uniforms and plan to use them for special events. We hope this becomes an annual donation that will keep our police looking dapper.

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula. We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotelsvacation rentals and activities, as well as guides, maps, complete event calendars and great stories about incredible travel destinations, from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas.  We also provide free personal travel consulting, planning and booking services in Los Cabos, Todos Santos and La Paz, with prices that match or are below best advertised price. For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

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Have a Baja Moment! Lobster Season in Bahia Asuncion

Have a Baja Moment! Lobster Season in Bahia Asuncion

Lobster season began on Baja’s Central Pacific Coast on October 1st. Fishermen had been making their traps and holding pens for the last month and were very anxious to start fishing. Bahia Asuncion always celebrates the opening of lobster season, as the economy improves, and everyone is in better spirits!

 Lobster Season in Bahia Asuncion, Baja California Sur

Local fishermen who have fished for lobster for generations are very proud that the Baja California spiny lobster (Panulirus interruptus) fishery was the first Latin American and community-based, artisanal fishery certified to Marine Stewardship Council standards. The only two certified lobster fisheries in the world are in Mexico and Australia. and both yield better prices on the world market.

 Lobster Season in Bahia Asuncion, Baja California Sur

The scientific evaluation process certifies the status of the fish stock, the impact of the fishery on the marine ecosystem, and the management system overseeing the fishery. Our area in Central Baja boasts an outstanding model of a well managed, sustainable artisanal fishery, and our local fishermen have set a fine example of stewardship with one of the region’s most valuable resources. Eventually, they will be able to pass on this heritage to future generations.

There are ten cooperatives that make up the Regional Federation of Cooperative Societies of Fisheries of Baja California (Fedecoop). More than 500 fishermen from Cedros Island to Punta Abreojos and Guadalupe Island participate in the fishery, with over 230 pangas harvesting lobster with about 15,500 traps, and producing an annual average catch of 1,456 tons (valued at approximately $65 million U.S.).

Lobster Season in Bahia Asuncion, Baja California Sur

The cooperatives account for approximately 80 percent of the total catch of this species in the entire country. Most of the catch is shipped out live, but frozen lobsters are also sold. The vast majority of the lobster catch is exported to Asia, with a smaller percentage shipped to France and the U.S. The remaining ten percent is sold domestically, primarily to restaurants.

The lobster and abalone fisheries are what fuel these Central Pacific Coast villages, and we are proud that stewardship is taken seriously. I can’t wait to have my first lobster dinner of the season!

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula. We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotelsvacation rentals and activities, as well as guides, maps, complete event calendars and great stories about incredible travel destinations, from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas.  We also provide free personal travel consulting, planning and booking services in Los Cabos, Todos Santos and La Paz, with prices that match or are below best advertised price. For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

 

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Have a Baja Moment! Traditional Fiestas in Bahia Asuncion

Have a Baja Moment! Traditional Fiestas in Bahia Asuncion

Traditional Fiestas in Bahia Asuncion

Bahia Asuncion’s Traditional Fiestas are scheduled for August 15th-19th, 2013.

Summer is fiesta time in Baja Sur. Now that the kids are out of school or home from college, each village sets aside a few days to celebrate…usually on the birthday of the saint the town was named after. Here in Bahia Asuncion, our Traditional Fiestas, or Las Fiestas Tradicionales, are held around the 15th of August, the Day of the Assumption of Mary into Heaven. The official dates for this year’s fiestas are August 15th-19th.

Traditional Fiestas in Bahia Asuncion

On the first day of the fiestas, the statue of the Virgin Mary is removed from her pedestal and paraded through the village.

On the first day of the fiestas, the statue of the Virgin Mary is removed from her pedestal in the local Catholic church and paraded through the village, as well as being taken for a panga tour around Asuncion Island. The parade leads about 100 horses in a Cabalgata, which is like a car rally, but with horses.  The cowboys and cowgirls don their fancy western attire, and horses and their riders come from far and wide to participate. Typically, there are over a hundred riders in the Cabalgata. The procession ends at the church, where the participants are blessed. A feast follows in the evening. The queen of the fiestas is crowned at the opening ceremony, and folkloric dancers and other performers take the stage with a live band.

Traditional Fiestas in Bahia Asuncion

The traditional parade includes a “Cabalgata,” a procession of over 100 riders on horseback.

The fiestas last for four days, all of which are packed full of activities for the entire family. There are sporting events on the beach, and a fishing tournament scheduled for Sunday, Aug.18. The marine quarry is yellowtail and calico bass, and the tournament is open to the public for a nominal entrance fee. Cash prizes are awarded in several categories, which include adult, kids in pangas, and shore fishing. The fish is cooked up afterwards at a big community BBQ (with live music, of course!).

Traditional Fiestas in Bahia Asuncion

A fishing tournament is scheduled for Sunday, August 18th, with prizes in a variety of categories.

The fiestas also features horse races, rodeos, and car & motorcycle races, as well as a midway with food booths and rides for the kids. There is also music everywhere, with roving bands at every event, and nightly dances with live entertainment.

Traditional Fiestas in Bahia Asuncion

Live music is present at virtually every event during the Traditional Fiestas.

It is a very lively festival and the village is full of visiting families from the surrounding ranches and villages. So if you happen to be in central Baja around the middle of August, come stay with us and enjoy the festivities!

Traditional Fiestas in Bahia Asuncion

If you’re in Bahia Asuncion during the middle of August, come join the party!

 

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula. We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurants, hotels, vacation rentals and activities, as well as guides, maps, complete event calendars and great stories about incredible travel destinations, from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas.  We also provide free personal travel consulting, planning and booking services in Los Cabos, Todos Santos and La Paz, with prices that match or are below best advertised price. For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

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Have a Baja Moment! An Undiscovered Paradise Awaits You at Bahia Asuncion

Have a Baja Moment! An Undiscovered Paradise Awaits You at Bahia Asuncion

There is a new destination getting a lot of attention with seasoned travelers, as well as newcomers to this amazing peninsula. This undiscovered paradise is located on the west coast of mid-Baja, in the heart of the Vizcaino Biosphere Reserve, the largest reserve in all Latin America!

Bahia Asuncion

Visiting the picturesque fishing village of Bahia Asuncion is like stepping back in time to “Old Baja.”  Everyone smiles and waves and visitors are treated like family.

Bahia Asuncion

The town is situated on a long sandy beach, fantastic for beachcombing, swimming, surfing, boogie boarding, running, beach sports, spear fishing, surf casting, and excellent fishing off the rocks.

Bahia Asuncion

The area also boasts wonderful kayaking, diving, hiking, mountain biking, fossil hunting and world class sport fishing for yellowtail, huge calico bass, dorado, and tuna…all caught very close to shore.

Bahia Asuncion

The southern end of the large bay is a great surf spot, which is kind of a secret!! The northern point, on the other hand, is awesome for collecting mussels, or catching dinner off the rocks. There is even a “bufadora,” or blow hole, which is a popular spot for bathing in the natural pools at high tide, and showering in the spray of the water spout.

Bahia Asuncion

There are about 1,500 inhabitants whose livelihoods largely depend upon the two fishing cooperatives that harvest abalone, lobster, clams, giant sea snails, sharks, and many species of fish. The residents are mighty friendly folks who are anxious to welcome you to their town, try out their English, invite you home to meet their families, and perhaps share a fresh plate of seafood with some homemade tortillas. A few expats have found the place to be paradise, and have immersed themselves into the thriving community.

Bahia Asuncion

There is a growing tourism industry seeking to provide visitors with everything they need for a fun stay. There are a variety of hotels and vacation rentals,  as well as camping facilities, restaurants & eateries, and fishing and dive charters. Local services include a gas station, water purification plant, hospital, clinic, many grocery stores with fresh produce, meat and dry goods, ice, internet cafes, hardware stores, pharmacies, tire shop, mechanics, welders, an art gallery, tackle shops, and a telegraph office. Bahia Asuncion is also a popular anchorage for visiting cruising yachts, whose crews enjoy strolling through the village to restock their galleys.

Bahia Asuncion

Apart from the pristine beaches and spectacular fishing, the village is known for its lovely gardens and a variety of flowers and trees. The climate is ideal: not too hot in the summer, with temps around 80 degrees; and not cold in the winter. But what’s best is that there are very few tourists.

Many guide books incorrectly state that there are few services available, and suggest it’s very hard to get here, which is not at all true. The road into Bahia Asuncion is now completely paved all the way in, although at the moment, the highway crews are patching up a part of the road that had a lot of potholes.  Before the road was paved, it was difficult to reach this part of the Baja, so the locals have not been negatively impacted by hordes of tourists.

Bahia Asuncion

Baja travelers who venture out here are amazed how beautiful and peaceful it is, and many end up staying much longer than planned. Some return with more friends (although lots of people want to keep the secret to themselves!) There are few gorgeous places left in Baja which aren’t getting crowded with tourists, and Bahia Asuncion is certainly one of them. It’s truly an undiscovered paradise.

Planning a trip to Bahia Asuncion? Contact a travel agent at Baja.com.

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula. We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurants, hotels, vacation rentals and activities, as well as guides, maps, complete event calendars and great stories about incredible travel destinations, from Tijuana to Cabo San Lucas.  We also provide free personal travel consulting, planning and booking services in Los Cabos, Todos Santos and La Paz, with prices that match or are below best advertised price. For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

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Big Swells Bring Good Things

Big Swells in Bahia Asuncion

Living in a fishing village means our lives revolve around the sea and her states. Fishing depends on the weather and waves.

Last week the internet sites predicted big swells to arrive here on the midwest coast of Baja. This forecast means different things to different people and results in a change of plans from the everyday routine.

Big Swells in  Bahia Asuncion

Surfers ask for days off work and race to get to their favorite breaks for the event. The young surfers in school suddenly come down with stomach flu, only cured by grabbing their board and paddling out to meet the swells.

To the abalone fishermen it means several days off because they cannot harvest abalone in big waves, so people happily plan what they will do with their free days. Many will get to do what they have not been able to do during the busy fishing season, like visit family in other villages, fix their cars, or get a building project done.

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And I just cant get enough of watching the powerful waves thundering in like freight trains…smashing against the rocks here at the Blowhole shooting water sky high. I love taking photographs of the monster swells and the west coast roads are busy with folks driving out to have a look at the dramatic wave action…taking video and pictures and posing in front of the smashing waves.

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The giant waves usually only last a couple days and when they begin to subside is when the beachcombers compete to find the delicious pismo clams that wash up on the beaches. Clam ceviche and cocktails are the food of choice after a big swell rolls through.

It also means when you live a stones throw from the blowhole, all the windows need washing! A small price to pay for such a fantastic show of nature!

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Want to find out what things to do when you visit Bahia Asuncion?  Visit Baja.com!

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurants, hotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

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Abalone Season Opens on Baja’s mid-Pacific Coast

Abalone Season Opens on Baja’s mid-Pacific Coast

by Shari Bondy

Abalone season and fishing opened in April, much to the delight of  the fishermen and the villages as it gives a big boost to the local economy here. The fishing cooperativas in this area have very successful fisheries for abalone and lobster and the towns relies on it.

Abalone season is in full swing.

Abalone season is in full swing.

My husband Juan is an “abulonero” (abalone fisherman) and there are 12 pangas that fish abalone in his fishing cooperative. They have a sustainable quota and each boat brings in about 100 legal size abalone a day. There are 3 fishermen to each panga, one boatman who man’s the ars to keep the panga in position and off the rocks, the tender  who looks after the diver and the compressor and the  diver who uses a hooka hose breathing system. The abalone are sorted on the panga, offloaded to the cannery where they are processed & canned. They are trucked to Ensenada where they are  shipped to the Orient and the shells sold as well.

 

abalone1

A can of grade A abalone is about $80.oo US and the edges they trim off from the abalone are made into a delicious sausage and sold locally in the co-op store.

This part of Baja’s coast is one of the last remaining places on earth that has a healthy abalone population that can be commercially fished sustainably. The fishing cooperativas invest a lot of money and effort into protecting this valuable resource by maintaining clean water and 24/7 “vigilancia” which is a patrol by land and sea to prevent poaching. It is a federal crime for anyone except coop fishermen to take any abalone or lobster in the area and punishable by several years in jail. If a visitor wants to buy abalone or lobster, one must get it from the cooperativas along with a receipt saying you bought it there.


While Baja is suffering from a serious downturn in tourism, luckily our village is thriving because of the excellent fishery we have here. So come and visit and try some of our delectable fresh  seafood!…I’m off to have some abalone burgers for lunch!

In abalone season, there are plenty of ways to eat the succulent seafood:  fried abalone is delicious.

In abalone season, there are plenty of ways to eat the succulent seafood: fried abalone is delicious.

Writer Shari Bondy owns the La Bufadora Inn in Bahia Asuncion, and welcomes visitors to come learn about her region!

Want to find out what things to do when you visit Bahia Asuncion?  Visit Baja.com!

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurantshotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.

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A Trip to La Sierra de San Francisco in Central Baja

A Trip to La Sierra de San Francisco in Central Baja

By Shari Bondy

There are so many interesting and exciting things to do and see in Central Baja that even after living here for 20 years, there are some I haven’t had the opportunity of seeing yet.

La Sierra de San Francisco is a spectacular mountain range and has been on my bucket list of things to do for over 20 years. So last week we took advantage of a windy day and a trip to Vizcaino to head up into the mountains to find out about this magical place.

cam00170

Central Baja and its La Sierra de San Francisco

The turnoff is about 15 minutes south of Vizcaino with a superb new paved highway winding up through the mountain range almost all the way to the ranches. The views of the valley, mountain cacti and deep canyons are spectacular…you can see all the way to San Ignacio lagoon!

The paved road however does end a few miles short of the village and becomes one of those baja “challenges” that are not for the faint of heart. You need a high clearance vehicle with good tires to make it the last half hour to the top, as the goat path is very rocky, narrow and rough.

There are a few small  ranches you pass before you come to San Francisco, where there are “cuartos” or rustic rooms for rent and a beautiful dining room for visitors with photographic displays of the cave paintings and handicrafts for sale made by the ranchers.

A mile up the “road,” which I called a burro path, is the main village where you register to see the cave paintings and arrange trips down into the canyon or the shorter tour to see the nearby cave called El Raton.

Cave paintings can be visited throughout Central Baja.

Cave paintings can be visited throughout Central Baja.

Most of the families are Arce’s and relatives of my husband, so it was enjoyable to meet them and see how they live–which is like something out of a wild west novel. Many of them are guides to take mule pack trips to see the famous cave paintings, and others survive by raising goats and making cheese.

One family are leather workers and make to-order shoes, boots, polinas (leather leg protectors) for riding, key chains, lariats etc. They live perched at the edge of the canyon where their families have lived for generations, with the main transportation being burros and mules, which I understood much better after hobbling over the bad road…certainly more suited to beasts than trucks.

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They are very gracious, humble folk with big smiles, although  some of the old timers still avoid the camera lens as if it would steal their soul if they looked into it.

We visited the families and found out how to book a trip to see the cave art. Of course the easiest way is to arrange a trip is through an outfitter who organizes everything for you like food and gear, but you can do it yourself by calling in advance to let them know you are coming so they have the beasts ready for you when you arrive. You must bring food and water for yourself and your guide for the trip.

The most popular trip is to arrive at the ranch in the morning, get the gear packed onto the burros, mount the mule they choose just for you and ride off on a two-night adventure. That first day, you ride a couple of hours then stop for lunch at a ranch and rest up a bit before you ride on to the place you will camp for the night.

The next day you will visit several caves and see some of the most magnificent cave paintings in the world and return to camp for a dinner and campfire like in the days of old. Then, after a hearty breakfast, you begin your ride back, have lunch and a rest before heading up the canyon and back to the ranch. The guides can take 3 people each and cost 200 pesos a day and pack burros and mules are 150 pesos each a day.

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If you aren’t up for riding a mule for 2 days, you can visit the cave close to the ranch to see what cave paintings look like. It is an incredible place to visit even if you don’t descend into the canyon.

Want to visit Bahia Asuncion?  Check out La Bufadora Inn!  Or, if you are going to San Ignacio, read up on the Ignacio Springs B&B!

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurants, hotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.  For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

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